The celebrity-studded turnout at the launch of Patrick McMullan’s latest book proves he is as much a celebrity as the people he photographs.
By Valentina Zuric
The book shows that McMullan is in fact a genius behind the camera, as he constantly lives up to his own expectations of perfection by being at the right place at the right time, with the right elements, and with the right interactions to snap pictures that are, oh, so glamorous.
He’s not a paparazzo, he’s an artist. His photos capture personalities behind their own masks while seizing the beauty found in impetuous moments. A de facto gatekeeper with an impeccable eye that allures Manhattan’s rich and powerfully notorious crowd, Patrick McMullan is a true devotee of old-world Hollywood glamour.
“It’s just not an event in New York without Patrick there taking a picture!” says Marcus Schenkenberg, a world famous male supermodel. Labeled as the photographer of fabulous events, McMullan has been recognized in numerous books, regular appearances on television programs, and popular columns in New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Interview. As a master at zeroing in on the magnetism of his subjects while retaining an air of chic spontaneity, McMullan knows just how to imbue the glamour that is not readily apparent to the casual observer.
McMullan’s latest book, Glamour Girls, is one of the largest collections of photographs ever published of the world’s most celebrated women. The 318-page book, with over 1,000 gorgeous photographs, chronicles everything from the modish galas of society and the flirty Hollywood parties to the famed New York nightlife and everything in between. Gracing the pages are such idols as Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Aniston, and Angelina Jolie, to just name a few. The introduction says it all, as Amy Fine Collins writes, “Every decade, every year, every season, it seems a new Glamour Girl emerges, rising like Venus from the foam, out of the movie studios of Hollywood, the designer ateliers of Seventh Avenue, the gilded co-ops of Park Avenue.” Ready at the shutter, it’s McMullan’s acute vision that registers these glamour girls upon arrival.
“A monkey can take a photograph,” McMullan explains, stating how photography is similar to editing and you don’t have to be a “genius” to take a picture. The book shows that McMullan is in fact a genius behind the camera, as he constantly lives up to his own expectations of perfection by being at the right place at the right time, with the right elements, and with the right interactions to snap pictures that are, oh, so glamorous.
At the launch of his new book, it was all about the glamour as McMullan toasted to his new tome while Maybelline beauties clad in silver beaded dresses by Douglas Hannant passed out an array of lip glosses to party-goers. While signing copies all evening by the stairs, indescribable yet breathtaking women such as Vera Wang and Emmy Rossum were more than excited to view his display. McMullan even had Martha Stewart, who left fifteen minutes after the party had begun, thrilled with the new book and asking a friend, “Did you see? He put me on the second page!”
Erin Wasson, Danna Garcia, and Tomiko Fraser, who grace the book’s back cover, were at Patrick’s side sparkling in gorgeous couture. After the signing at the Whitney Museum of American Art, guests moved down to the 7th floor of glamour girl nexus Bergdorf Goodman to attend a dinner reception, co-hosted by Bergdorf Goodman and hosted by Gilles Mendel, designer and owner of J. Mendel. McMullan was fêted with the dinner in his honor, while guests euphorically enjoyed champagne and caviar.
With his new book exuding the style and radiance of a tantalizing range of beautiful women, one questions what “glamour” is really all about? It’s democratic, and you don’t have to be born with it, explains McMullan. “Everyone has Glamour Girl moments in her life-on her birthday, or simply when someone happens to make her feel that way… You can put on sunglasses and a scarf and still be a glamour girl. It’s all about the effort.”